SPOT THE SIGNS TRACK­ING MOUNTAINTAIN GO­RIL­LAS

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Gorillas -

VO­CAL­I­SA­TIONS

It can be tricky to see go­ril­las in the rain­for­est so it’s es­sen­tial to lis­ten out for their sounds. Go­ril­las com­mu­ni­cate in a se­ries of grunts, screams and rum­bles, and even through singing and laugh­ter. Some are pierc­ing and loud, oth­ers deep, soft and barely au­di­ble.

DROP­PINGS

Drop­pings will in­di­cate the go­ril­las’ trail, but their size will also tell you whether the ape you’re fol­lowingow­ing is a sil­ver­back or a smaller go­rilla.orilla. If they’re still warm your go­ril­lasllas will be close by, of course. Go­ril­las’llas’ urine also has a dis­tinc­tive, strongng smell.

LEAVESL AND STICKS

Go­ril­lasGo are vo­ra­cious eaters and main­lym veg­e­tar­ian. They of­ten skim leavesle from a branch or peel a stem to getge at the juicy in­sides, leav­ing piles of plantpl de­bris on their route. Veg­e­ta­tion willw also be bent, bro­ken or flat­tened, re­veal­in­gre their di­rec­tion of travel.

VA­CATED NESTS

Nests are va­cated ev­ery morn­ing and it helps to start track­ing early so that the go­ril­las won’t have wan­dered too far. They tell you how many go­ril­las are in the group, who they are and how healthy they are. Dung near each nest will also tell you who slept there.

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